The process to make cowhide rugs is one that requires an extensive amount of time and patience. They are created by taking the hide of the cow, which is the skin and hair of the cow. First, it is washed. Cows tend to smell, and washing and curing the hide helps rid it of any odors.
Before tanning, most manufacturers soak their cowhides in water for an extensive amount of time to help them stay soft. If they are not soaked long enough, the result is a hard rug, something you do not want. Then, they are tanned using a vegetable or chrome tanning method. The chrome tanning method is most popular because it is quicker.
After the tanning process, manufacturers perfect the hide so that it is aesthetically appealing. This can include using stencils and dye to create a natural look. Some manufacturers do this with zebra print, while others create a cow print. Dyes might also be used to create pink or purple cowhide rugs.
If a patchwork rug is to be created, the hide is dyed and cut carefully into the shapes that will be used, such as squares. Then, it is sewn back together for a unique rug. This is one of the most time-consuming cowhide rugs to create, hence why it is more expensive.
This same process is used to make other cowhide products, such as handbags or cowhide cubes. However, once the hide is ready, additional steps are taken to transform it into a cube or handbag.
Animals Cowhide Rugs Are Made From
Authentic cowhide rugs are comprised of the hide of a cow, but not all cowhide rugs on the market are authentic. Other companies that make counterfeit rugs use a byproduct or two to make cheap rugs that sell for authentic prices. All authentic ones are made from cows.
Are Cowhide Rugs Cruel?
One of the primary things that concern most of our customers when they consider purchasing a cowhide rug is that it might be cruel. They envision cows being brutally slaughtered for the sole purpose of creating a beautiful rug. When a person thinks of a cowhide rug in that light, it’s understandable that some customers will hesitate before purchasing one.
However, there is nothing cruel about cowhide rugs, or the way that they are created. All of our cowhides are purchased from meat processing plants. This means that the cows were already humanely killed, and are going to be processed for meat. After the cow is killed, the hides are set aside for manufacturers to purchase. The cows are already dead when all of this happens, so they do not feel additional pain.
Using the cows hide to create a beautiful rug is not cruel. Instead, this helps ensure that all of the animals is used instead of wasted. If the hides are not used to create rugs, they are often purchased for other products, like cowhide cubes or leather boots.
How Long Does It Take To Make A Cowhide Rug?
Vegetable tanning alone can take six months for the entire process to be complete. Simply washing the hide repeatedly often takes a few weeks. Chrome tanning is quicker, and most manufacturers can complete this process in a day or two.
Products that are created using vegetable tanning are usually more expensive, and they are not as available as others because it takes so long to make them. However, most customers that seek out cowhide rugs that were made using vegetable tanning do so because this process is more environmentally friendly than chrome tanning. The higher price can be worth it to those that are determined to lessen their carbon footprint on the planet.
Most companies that create customized cowhide rugs utilize chrome tanning. This process is efficient, cheaper and manufacturers are able to create high quality, unique rugs in a matter of weeks instead of months. Customers that would like a rug customized often wind up buying one that was created using this method, as do most that would like the most cost-effective method possible.